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The Internet

China Hijacks Popular BitTorrent Sites 174

frogger writes "China is not new to censoring the Internet, but up until now, BitTorrent sites have never been blocked. Recently, however, several reports came in from China indicating that popular BitTorrent sites such as Mininova, isoHunt and The Pirate Bay had been hijacked. The sites became inaccessible, instead redirecting to the leading Chinese search engine Baidu."
The Almighty Buck

Using Money As Incentive For Competition On Consoles? 40

MTV's Multiplayer blog reports on a company about to start offering a service that will allow players to compete in matches and tournaments over their PS2, PS3, or Xbox 360 with real money as a prize. Doing so will, of course, require entry fees, but the contests are set up and opted into by the players themselves. Quoting: "To prevent cheating, the company has access to the game data and promises a knowledgeable in-house customer support team. There's also a reputation and feedback system, which Levy compared to eBay, that will allow gamers to make informed decisions about who they're playing against. ... [Company co-founder Billy Levy] ultimately thinks World Gaming will open up the field for gamers who want to make money from games but can't make it to live competitions due to the expense or having to take time off from work or school.
Mozilla

Submission + - Aussie Web shop offers discount to Firefox users 6

Stony Stevenson writes: An Australian PC retailer has come up with a novel way of supporting the 'alternative' software movement. Tekfix Computing Solutions is offering a 5 percent discount on products purchased online if customers are using Firefox rather than Internet Explorer. The firm has the backing of Google and the Mozilla Foundation to switch internet users to the open source browser. The move follows a similar effort by Google, which introduced paid referrals into its AdSense system, allowing any AdSense publisher to earn money from referring users to Firefox provided it contains the Google Toolbar.
Portables (Apple)

Submission + - iPhone available on all networks in Germany

teslar writes: The Spiegel tells us (in German), that as a result of Vodafone's court order, T-Mobile is now selling the iPhone unlocked and without a contract at a bargain price of 999 Euros — 600 Euros more than it costs on contract. People who have bought their iPhone on or after the 19th of November can have it be unlocked for free. However, the deal is only temporary until the legal situation is clear — T-Mobile is appealing the decision and is threatening to sue Vodafone for damages.
Portables

Submission + - XOgiving OLPCs to work without mesh, over jabber (laptop.org)

Dave Crossland writes: "One Laptop Per Child is running its "Give One Get One" (G1G1) sale for North Americans — only 6 days left! — and one of the most widely touted innovations in the XO laptop is the mesh networking which is integrated into all the applications. Since people buying XOs in the G1G1 scheme will only get ONE, it was announced on the sugar mailing today that "for G1G1, there is a Jabber server preconfigured. When you have internet access, [the mesh features] will "Just Work". The Neighborhood screen does show all those on that server currently.""
Media

Submission + - Government Study finds P2P increases CD Sales

Vaystrem writes: On November 2nd 2007 Canada's Intellectual Policy Directorate released a report entitled "The Impact of Music Downloads and P2P File-Sharing on the Purchase of Music: A Study for Industry Canada" From the abstract:

Our review of existing econometric studies suggests that P2P file-sharing tends to decrease music purchasing. However, we find the opposite, namely that P2P file-sharing tends to increase rather than decrease music purchasing. Among Canadians who engage in P2P file-sharing, our results suggest that for every 12 P2P downloaded songs, music purchases increase by 0.44 CDs. That is, downloading the equivalent of approximately one CD increases purchasing by about half of a CD.

The study was paid for by Public Works and Government Services Canada. Details of the contract, methodology and the original data files from the study may be found here.
Google

Submission + - Northeastern sues Google over search patent (news.com) 1

mytrip writes: Google faces a federal patent infringement lawsuit by Northeastern University over technology used in its core Web search system, according to legal papers filed last week.

The complaint was filed on November 6 in Marshall, in the Eastern District of Texas — the U.S. court with a history of decisions that are highly favorable to plaintiffs in patent cases — but the case only came to light over the weekend.

The plaintiffs are Boston-based Northeastern University and Jarg, a start-up founded by a Northeastern University professor that is the exclusive licensee of search technology patented in 1997, a year before Google was incorporated.

The case centers on U.S. patent No. 5,694,593, titled "Distributed Computer Database System and Method," which was invented by Kenneth Baclawski, an associate professor in Northeastern's computer science department.

Baclawski is co-founder of Waltham, Mass.-based Jarg, which was incorporated in 1998. He first published his method of searching and retrieving information from large, distributed databases in 1994, according to court documents.

Music

Submission + - P2P file-sharing study released by Industry Canada

Techie Coward writes: Industry Canada has released a study regarding the effect of P2P file-sharing on CD purchases. The study concludes that P2P file-sharing does not have an overall positive or negative effect on CD sales. Additionaly, the study finds that among those who do download, those who download more purchase more CDs, and that the price of CDs has no overall effect on CD sales.
Portables

Submission + - Asus Eee PC Tear-Down And Review (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "The Asus Eee PC is now available for sale in the US as of today and there is more than enough buzz about this new, low-cost, ultra-portal computer that ships with a custom KDE-built interface for Linux. Though the machine has been positioned by some as a response to the XO-1 laptop from OLPC, but it appears to be a lot less toy-like in its design. This full evaluation shows the Eee PC is built on Intel mobile Celeron technology and the 910GML Express chipset. Power consumption was measured at a miserly 15 Watts idle and 18 Watts under load with battery life in excess of three hours. There is also an abundance of software pre-installed on the machine, like Open Office applications, Skype and Pigeon."
The Internet

Submission + - AP Sues VeriSign Over News Aggregation (itworld.com)

narramissic writes: "You may remember a while back when Agence France Presse (AFP), one of the world's largest wire services, sued Google News for copyright infringement. It was widely believed then that the Associated Press (AP) had threatened to file a similar lawsuit. Well, now they have — only not against Google. According to a report on ITworld, the AP has filed a suit against VeriSign that seeks to stop VeriSign's Moreover news aggregation services from publishing the AP's news content."
Google

A Google Blunder- the Sad Story of Urchin 164

Anenome writes "Google has a track record of buying startups and integrating them into its portfolio. But sometimes those acquisitions go terribly wrong, as Ars Technica argues has been the case with Google's 2005 purchase of web-analytics firm Urchin Software Corp. 'In the wake of Google's purchase of the company, inquiring customers (including Ars Technica) were told that support and updates would continue. Companies that had purchased support contracts were expecting version 6 any day, including Ars. What really happened is this: Google focused its attention on Google Analytics, put all updates to Urchin's other products on the back burner, and rolled out a skeleton support team. Everyone who forked over for upgrades via a support contract never got them, even though things weren't supposed to have changed. The support experience has been awful. Since the acquisition, we have had two major issues with Urchin, and neither issue was solved by Google's support team. In fact, with one issue, we were helped up until the point it got difficult, and then the help vanished. The support team literally just stopped responding.'"
Announcements

Submission + - Popular Mechanics and the 2007 Breakthrough Awards

Anonymous Coward writes: "Popular Mechanics is holding its 2007 Breakthrough Awards conference today, which includes live blogging from its panels on science, sustainability and energy. The breakthrough awards feature 10 cutting-edge projects and eight bold ideas. Among the winners are Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute for his work on sustainability and efficiency, Jeff Han for the hands-on computer, Hod Lipson and the Make-Anything Machine and Shawn Frayne for the non-turbine wind alternative."
Intel

Submission + - Intel's X38 Chipset Debuts - DDR2 and DDR3 Tested (hothardware.com)

bigwophh writes: "It has been quite some time since Intel launched a desktop chipset targeted squarely at PC enthusiasts. Of course, the P965 and current P35 have both been well received by motherboard manufactures and the enthusiast community, but these chipsets were actually designed for the mainstream space. In fact, the 975X Express, which launched almost two years ago, was the last desktop chipset Intel specifically marketed for enthusiasts. With today's launch, however, the Intel desktop chipset line-up gets a new flagship. To lay the foundation for the upcoming arrival of Intel's 45nm processors, the company is officially introducing the X38 chipset. The X38 takes all of the things that have made the P35 a success and adds a slew of new features designed to increase memory and graphics subsystem performance like PCI Express 2.0 support and Intel Extreme Memory technology. One of the motherboards evaluated in this article even features an embedded Linux-based OS that boots in a matter a seconds."

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